It was a tense night in the council house of Nadwa, Mecca.
The non-believers of Mecca had suppressed their hatred and anguish for so long. It goes without saying that the effort of ar-Rasul has become a threat. A threat to them, their culture, their idols and their influence.
Ar-Rasul’s determined supporters were growing in numbers, and now with the rumours that they were seeking shelter in Medina, the non-believers couldn’t just sit still now, could they?
Even more spine-chilling was the fact that the hosting tribe of Aws and Khazraj of Medina were known for their might and power in battle.
Something had to be done. The imminent danger must be averted!
Important council members were called to gather. A unified assassination was set to commence but later proven to be a failure. In an emergency, all exits of Mecca were immediately blocked and guarded heavily.
“100 red camels for their heads!” Encouraged by this reward, horsemen and infantries scoured every place to look for the migrating Muslims, including Suraqah ibn Malik. Suraqah was tipped by someone who saw ar-Rasul’s travelling group and immediately went into hot pursuit.
Suraqah was very determined. Ar-Rasul could now be seen from afar. Vulnerable. Abu Bakr’s heart was agitated. Suraqah trotted his horse to sprint faster. He almost made it, but something unpredictable happened.
The Sovereignty of Allah stopped Suraqah
Just when Suraqah almost made it, his horse stumbled all of a sudden, causing him to fall to the ground. Some claimed that the land suddenly split, causing the horse’s legs to sink.
Such occurrence was usually regarded by the Arabs as a bad omen, signalling that he shouldn’t continue his pursuit. Blinded by the lucrative reward, Suraqah, however, got back up and chased again.
Once again, his horse stumbled, and then again and again.
Finally, Suraqah realised that what happened was a direct warning from the Most Powerful Sovereign of the world to him.
So supreme that He had precedence over any of His creation — his horse, the expanse of the desert — to stop him from doing harm against His messenger.
Suraqah surrendered himself to ar-Rasul. And to the Absolute Sovereign of the world.
Ar-Rasul taught Suraqah about sovereignty
“O Muhammad, tell me about your God,” Suraqah asked ar-Rasul as he humbly sat down before him afterwards.
“If your God possesses such great power, is He made of gold or silver?”
To answer his question, Allah revealed Chapter al-Ikhlas, a short and concise description of His Sovereignty.
In this chapter, Allah introduces one of His 99 attributes, al-Samad. From a linguistic point of view, al-Samad is a powerful word carrying strong meanings:
- A leader who is obeyed amongst his people, the one whose sovereignty has reached its peak.
- The one whom everyone is in need of. They incline to Him, they reach out for Him and surrender their needs to Him.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen interpreted al-Samad comprehensively as “the One Who is Perfect in His Attributes, the One whom all His creatures are in need of; they are dependent upon Him.”
Al-Samad is, indeed, a word depicting genuine sovereignty.
The Chapter of al-Ikhlas is not only teaching us about ‘what’ Allah is but also what His role is: the sole (Ahad) sovereign (al-Samad).
Allah’s sovereignty outrun them all
The council members of the non-believers in Mecca had convened and strategised. The assassins from a number of tribes had been deployed.
People had scoured every nook and cranny around Mecca. Suraqah had found ar-Rasul and did his best to pursue him.
In the end, the sovereignty of Allah outran all their schemes and sweats. The Da’wah kept on soaring and spreading, thanks to both the support from Allah as well as the determined efforts and brilliant strategies of ar-Rasul and the Sahabas.
Ar-Rasul was sent to establish the sovereignty of Allah in this world.
Both our purposes of ‘Abid and Khalifa in this world require our total embrace of His sovereignty.
Without that, are we truly serving Him right?